The Internal Revenue Service is going after an 82-year-old woman for an outrageous $2.1 million in “penalties” because she didn’t use the right form to file her taxes.
The grandmother from the Boston area had spent decades going to her local library and diligently filling out her IRS forms by hand and sending them in. But eventually she made a serious error, though it was one she had no way of knowing that she was making, according to Reason Magazine.
After Monica Toth’s family left Germany in the 1930s to escape Hitler’s fascist empire, they landed in Argentina, where Monica was born in 1940. By age 22, she had moved to the U.S. to start a family. Ultimately, in the 80s she became a naturalized American citizen.
In 1999, Toth’s father left her $4.2 million in a Swiss Bank account. Not being a tax accountant or tax preparer, Monica was not aware of the arcane rule that Americans who own bank accounts in foreign countries must file an annual one-page form known as the Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts report (FBAR). This form basically alerts the federal government to the existence of the bank account and lists the assets therein, the New York Post reported.
Toth had no clue that this form even existed and so, she spent years neglecting to file the form.